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NATO Secretary General calls on Russia to disclose information on ‘Novichok’ programme

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called on Russia to cooperate with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in conducting an impartial, international investigation into the poisoning of Russia opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

During a press conference on Friday, September 4, Stoltenberg stated that the tests conducted in Germany prove that Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent from the Novichok group. He then called on Russia to provide complete disclosure of the Novichok programme and share this information with the OPCW.

“Any use of chemical weapons shows a total disrespect for human lives and is an unacceptable breach of international laws and rules,” Stoltenberg said, adding that Alexey Navalny’s poisoning is “an attack on fundamental democratic rights.”

Stoltenberg also said that NATO will continue consultations on what measures to take in response to the use of Novichok against Navalny. 

Opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny was on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow when he fell violently ill on August 20. The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, where he was hospitalized in a coma; two days later he was transferred to Germany for treatment. On September 2, the German officials confirmed that he was poisoned with a substance from the Novichok group of nerve agents.

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